Remedies for procedures before the Japan Patent Office affected by COVID-19

Apr. 3, 2020

On April 3, 2020, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) made an announcement regarding the effect of COVID-19 on procedures such as the filing of patents, utility models, designs and trademarks. Namely, accidental expiration of due dates may be remedied if said expiration was due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Documentation explaining the reasons that a necessary procedure could not be performed by a due date must be submitted. We have confirmed with the JPO that there are no geographical limitations on where any such circumstances may have occurred, whether overseas or in Japan.
Specifically, please note the following.

[PCT National Phase Entry in Japan]
A PCT national phase entry application should be filed as soon as possible and within six (6) months after expiration of the national phase entry due date (thirty (30) months after the first priority date).
[New Application claiming Paris Convention Priority]
An application should be filed within two (2) months after expiration of the priority due date.
[Office Action Response]
Office action responses after a due date may be accepted if found necessary.
[Request for Examination (Patent)]
A request for examination may be submitted even after the due date (normally, three (3) years from the filing date) if the request is submitted within two (2) months after it became possible to file the request AND within one (1) year after the original due date.
[Maintenance Fees (Annuities)]
Maintenance fees (annuities) may be paid even after the due date if the fees are paid within two (2) months (for foreign proprietors) after payment became possible AND within six (6) months after the original due date.
[Other procedures]
Remedies are also provided for various other procedures. Please ask our firm for assistance.

Summary prepared by Shuichi Shitara, International Information Group
Please use the contact form below for inquiries or comments.